Restoring Ratty: Is this the right place for Ratty?

Our volunteers have been helping monitor the Kielder area for mink as well as helping Red Squirrels United to survey the area for squirrels. If that wasn't enough they been helping out Derek Gow Consultancy collect water voles from the North Pennines at the start of the programme to bring the water vole back to Kielder!
Red squirrel survey - Mel Rockett

Image by: Mel Rockett

No, the monitoring team do not think Water Voles live up trees! Here Dave is showing Sue where we put the Red Squirrel trail cameras. The team is “branching out” at the request of Red Squirrels United in order to support their efforts by checking a few trail cameras whilst out on our rounds.

Life is getting varied. A number of us were out at the end of last week helping with the collection of Water Voles from the upper Allen Valley. A moderate degree of success was had and it was a great pleasure to see the process in action - and to actually trap a couple of voles ourselves. The trapping team now have at least 35 voles - 20 from the Trossachs & 15 + from the Allen Valley. They’re all on the way to Devon for their winter break and should come back in much greater numbers; if nature takes its course; ready for release in Kielder Forest during the Spring 2017. Yes!!

So, a mixture of trapping water voles, monitoring mink rafts and checking cameras. Early indications suggest that all of the cameras have recorded some activity; with the Allery Bank camera being the busiest with over 200 images. Next time out, on the 24th October, we’ll be collecting in the cameras and reviewing the photos.

Back to the main task. Did we find any signs of mink? No. Good.